Completely crushed

Elisha Molefe

Elisha Molefe

North West marked the launch of the taxi scrapping process at the weekend when it crushed five taxis as part of the taxi recapitalisation programme.

The five vehicles were scrapped during a ceremony at Olympia Stadium in Rustenburg.

According to the Taxi Scrapping Agency in North West, a total of 23 taxi operators have already been paid their R50000 scrapping allowances for each vehicle destroyed.

Jerry Thibedi, MEC of roads and transport in North West, said the government wanted to accelerate the pace to ensure the national target of recapitalising at least 80percent of the current taxi fleet by the 2009-10 financial year was met.

More than 1000 taxi operators have applied to have their old vehicles scrapped. So far 90 taxis have been taken to the scrapping site in Mafikeng to be evaluated. This is to ensure they meet the stipulated scrapping requirements.

A total of 130 vehicles are currently being checked and cleared off the Natis, the national traffic information system.

The total number of applications received for conversion of permits into operating licenses stood at 13340 at February 15, according to the provincial operating licensing board.

Jabulani Mthembu of the South African National Taxi Council urged taxi operators to act "while the moment is still ripe".

He said taxi owners had received money to deposit on new taxis.

However, he said taxi owners should also ensure they had "a back- up plan".

He urged them to buy vehicles that have good access to spare parts.